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- THE UPPER CASERTANO ROUTES OF FAITH, CULTURE AND LOCAL TRADITIONS
THE UPPER CASERTANO ROUTES OF FAITH, CULTURE AND LOCAL TRADITIONS
The route unwinds among the main places of worship that were pilgrimage destinations from late antiquity to the Low Middle Ages, in the area between Teano and Gioia Sannitica.
The modern "pilgrim" can visit some of the oldest and most fascinating buildings of the Upper Casertano area, retracing ancient routes step by step.
This route is 101-km long (to be covered in 10 days with a daily average of 10 km), three days for the route by car; in total, 5 days of mixed route.
STAGE 1 - Teano
The route starts in the heart of the historic centre, at the Cathedral of Teano, which according to some sources was built over the tomb of Saint Paris, and continues through the streets of the town, taking in the Churches of Santa Maria de Intus, the Monastery of San Benedetto, the Churches of S. Pietro in Aquariis and Santa Maria de Foris. It then continues outside the ancient town walls to reach the Basilica of San Paride ad Fontem.
STAGE 2 - Caianello Vecchio and Aorivola
Having left Teano behind, we continue towards Caianello Vecchio and visit the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, located next to the ruins of the town's castle.
The next stop is the Church of Santo Stefano Protomartire, in the small hamlet of Aorivola, where we can still see an inscription about an 18th-century restoration. From Aoriviola, it is easy to reach the evocative Cave of the Saints Donato and Isidoro, a place of worship entirely dug out of the rock, where we can admire a 15th-century cycle of frescoes.
STAGE 3 - Pietravairano
Once back on the main route, we continue towards the town of Pietravairano where we can visit the Church of Saint Eraclio and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vigna. Further into the Caserta countryside, we reach the Monastery of Santa Maria della Ferraria (or Ferrara), where we can admire the parts of the original complex of buildings that have been preserved: the church, the cloister structures and the small chapel by Malgerio Sorello, with an elegant example of 13th-century wall painting.
STAGE 4 - Sant’Angelo d’Alife
After leaving the monastery and taking the road that from Vairano Patenora leads to Alife, we come across two wonderful examples of Christian worship in this area. The first stop is the Longobard cave of Saint Michael, at the foot of the Castle of Rupecanina (Sant'Angelo d'Alife). At the castle we can visit the Church of Santa Lucia a Castello, part of which was built inside one of the watchtowers of the fortress walls.
STAGE 5 - Alife
From Rupecanina, going towards Alife, we come to the Church of Madonna della Grazie (built around a Roman mausoleum), and then move inside the Roman walls, where we can visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, whose construction in the Norman era seems to be connected with the arrival in town of the relics of Saint Sixtus.
After leaving from Porta Napoli, on the road, after 100 m. we come to the Church of San Giovanni (or Mausoleum of the Acilii Glabrioni).
STAGE 6 - Piedimonte Matese
The next stop after Alife is the town of Piedimonte Matese and the Churches of San Domenico, San Biagio and San Giovanni Battista; from here it is possible to reach the peak of Mount Muto (580 asl) and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Occorrevole, with paintings from the late 14th century.
STAGE 7 - San Potito Sannitico
After descending Mount Muto and reaching the small town of San Potito Sannitico, we can visit the Church of Santa Caterina and San Potito, a building that according to local learned tradition was built between the 9th and 10th centuries.
STAGE 8 - Gioia Sannitica
Here, in the territory of Gioia Sannitica, the route retraces the pilgrims' roads, stopping at the Cave of San Michele Arcangelo, the Church of San Salvatore and la Church of Madonna della Libera, and ending near the Sanctuary of Madonna del Bagno, near Carattano.
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